Emotions were running high at the Sun Bowl Saturday night as 34,646 fans watched the Miners begin their 2019 college football season with a 36-34 win over Houston Baptist. In the second quarter of the game, UTEP honored Luke Laufenberg, their tight end who lost his two-year battle with cancer on August 22nd.

Today, UTEP and the Laufenberg Family announced the Luke Laufenberg FIGHT Football Scholarship. "The scholarship endowment for Luke is really special because he is going to stay in our hearts and souls for many years," UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said in the official release. "He was a fighter, a champion and a wonderful person. He was a very talented young man who left a huge mark on everyone he came in contact with."

After walking on at Texas A&M, Laufenberg played at Mesa Community College in 2017. Following the season, he was diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma, a rare non-Hodgkins lymphoma that affects only 1,200 Americans each year. After treating it with chemotherapy, Luke was pronounced cancer free and he received a scholarship in February to play tight end at UTEP. He went through Spring Ball with the Miners before his cancer returned in April.

Luke's father Babe expressed his appreciation to UTEP and the endowment which will allow for his son's legacy to live forever. "On behalf of Luke’s mom, Joan, and his brother, Joe Willie, we are incredibly grateful to UTEP and the entire Miners community for helping make our Luke’s dream of playing Division I college football a reality," Laufenberg said. "We hope this scholarship will honor Luke’s legacy and allow other hardworking, dedicated athletes with big dreams and even bigger ‘FIGHT’ the opportunity to wear Miners’ orange and blue."

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